Water seen running down outside wall

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Water seen running down outside wall

Postby BarryH1701 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:26 pm

I'm new to mobile homes as I've just recently moved into one and I keep finding things that I wonder if they are problems or what. My home has vinyl siding and a shingle roof. Today, I discovered several trails of water running down the outside wall and I am wondering if this is signs of a problem. Most of these water trails start about 2 feet or so below the roof line. They are only on one side of the house and the last rainfall was 3 days ago. I do not find any water stains on the inside wall opposite the water trails, but I do not know if there is any water between the walls. I need to know if this is signs of a problem or can water sometimes get under the siding and just drain out slowly. I have found one area where I do have water inside the wall and it shorted out my telephone wiring where it got wet, but there is no corresponding trail of water on the outside wall. I can send photographs to anyone who would like to see these water trails. I'm sure I will have a number of other questions since I'm so new at mobile home living, but this issue is one which does have me concerned until I can find out more information. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated.
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RE: Water seen running down outside wall

Postby JD » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:02 pm

Hi Barry and welcome to the forum. I updated your profile to allow picture uploads, so if you have some pics you would like to show us, you should see an Upload Picture button when you post a message.

Do you have aluminum awnings? What are the day and night temps where you live? Does your roof have an overhang? How is the vinyl siding finished where it meets the roof? Metal trim? Vinyl J-channel?

JD
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RE: Water seen running down outside wall

Postby BarryH1701 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:23 pm

The only awning I have is over the front door, but there is no water trails on the front side. The temperatures are now in transition from summer to autumn. Until recently, temps have ranged from lows of mid-70s to highs in the low to mid-90s. Since Sunday, the lows have been in the upper 50s and highs in the low 80s. There is very little overhang, perhaps about half an inch on the shingles. I believe the siding is finished by metal trim.

The water trails do not seem to originate at the very top. They seem to start about 2 feet below the roof line and only on the back side of the house which bore the brunt of high winds in a recent storm which passed through about a month ago, but I haven't noticed any water running down the outside wall until today. The last rainfall was last Saturday from Tropical Storm Ike, but the rain we received was minimal and the wind was not as strong as anticipated...perhaps 20 mph.

I've uploaded 3 pictures...I hope I did it correctly, but the images show the water trail and droplets on the siding. I have found 4 separate water trails along the back side of the structure. Only one of these is near a seam in the siding where two pieces come together so do not know if that has anything to do with it.

I have felt the inside wall and it does not feel soft as though it is soaked (even the area where I know is wet between the walls is not soft so that doesn't tell me much without a moisture detector).

Hope these pictures help and hope someone can help...and hopefully put my mind at ease over this issue. If you need any additional pictures, let me know and I will take others to send.

I have attached Image
Image
Image
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RE: Water seen running down outside wall

Postby JD » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:18 am

I doubt this will ease your mind, but hopefully other forum members will offer other ideas. I think that much water dripping days after a rain is not a good thing. This could very well be causing water damage in the walls.

The siding looks like double-5 shiplap, which would be 10" wide. Look at the bottom of the first course above these drip areas and see if it is dripping there. It may be just a little. Even if it is not leaking there, it could be a roof leak that worked it's way behind the siding, soaking the insulation and leaking a course or two lower. Or it could be water leaking at the transition where the siding meets the roof. The actually leak could be where the drip is or up to 2' in either direction. The water can travel at the bottom of the siding panel a little ways and come out weep holes or where 2 pieces of siding meet.

A semi-easy way to check this is with a zip tool. It is a siding tool made to separate courses of siding. You should be able to get one for $5 at any home store. You can then reach in to feel the insulation. You may have to cut through thin insulation board or home wrap vapor barrier to reach the siding. If this is vinyl siding installed over flat aluminum siding, then you won't be able to feel the insulation without getting through the aluminum siding. You can cut a hole in it with a utility knife. Whatever you open, you need to seal up before clipping the siding back together.

There is also a slight possibility that this is a condensation problem. This would mean a large missing piece of insulation in the area where it is leaking. But I am thinking that it is a leak.

Again, this is just my opinion without a "hands-on" look at the problem. Hopefully someone will recognize this problem and have a better (for you) diagnosis.

JD
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RE: Water seen running down outside wall

Postby BarryH1701 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:58 am

I looked at the side of the house again this morning and there are a couple of additional locations where water is running down the side of the house where there was none yesterday, however, there is a reasonably heavy dew out so it could be condensation running off the house.

The photos I posted yesterday were taken late in the afternoon so I would have assumed that any condensation would have evaporated by that time so I'm not exactly sure.

I've taken another picture today that I can post later when I resize the photo and file size. This photo is of the roof line so you can see how the roof meets the side of the house and the slight overhang.

I did purchase a moisture detectore today so when it arrives, I will be checking the interior walls to see if any moisture is getting into the interior walls.

I'm not sure how mobile homes are constructed, but I'm assuming there is an inner and outer wall with a space between for insulation?

Additionally, I checked the neighbors house who has the same type of siding and I noticed a few water trails on that house as well this morning so I don't know if it is condensation or what at this point.

Once I receive my moisture meter, I should hopefully at least be able to check my entire house...at least the interior walls...for any excess moisture.

I know all wood and sheetrock has some moisture content, so would anyone be able to tell me what the normal % of moisture would be found in the interior wall? I'm estimating roughly 6% or so based on other information I've found.

Thanks
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RE: Water seen running down outside wall

Postby shadow745 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:46 am

I don't know if you mentioned it in previous posts, but do you have gutters? If so water could be streaming down behind the gutters and then dropping onto the siding and running down from there. Could also be a case of heavy condensation. Later!
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